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Top American officials say Washington is hopeful that a recent prisoner exchange with Iran will lead to a broader discussion. In an interview with VOA on Wednesday, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook recalled some of the emotional moments of witnessing the release of Chinese American academic Xiyue Wang, saying Wang will be working with the U.S. to help secure the release of all American detainees from Iran. State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story
Most Americans understand the Palestinian people in context of their decades long conflict with Israel. To provide more context, a museum in Washington D.C. is shining a light on its culture and heritage; one artifact at a time. More on this museum from VOA’s Imron Jadoon
The U.S. pullout from Syria and Turkey’s offensive into the country has shaken the already unstable region, and minority religious groups in the region are particularly worried about a possible resurgence of the Islamic State group. For VOA, Stella Grigoryan recently spoke with members of an Armenian community in a Kurdish-majority city about their security concerns in a story narrated by Anna Rice.
The U.S. pullout from Syria and Turkey's offensive into Syria has shaken the already unstable region, and minority religious groups in the region are particularly worried about a possible resurgence of Islamic State. For VOA, Stella Grigoryan recently spoke with members of an Armenian community in the Kurdish-majority city about their security concerns in a story narrated by Anna Rice.
In Lebanon, some politicians and the press foment anger against Syrian refugees, blaming them for widespread unemployment and lack of resources. And after a month and a half of daily protests, a deepening financial crisis and increased insecurity, aid for refugees is dwindling and deportations are on the rise. But as VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from the Bekkaa Valley, many families say no matter how bad it gets here, they cannot go home to Syria.
The conflict in Syria created a global humanitarian crisis, with millions displaced and millions more fleeing to other countries. Turkish military operations that began in early October may be creating a new wave of displacement. Where are these Syrians going? VOA's Turkish service filed this report, narrated by Ege Sacikara.
Clashes broke out early Monday in Beirut, as supporters of Hezbollah ambushed an ongoing anti-government protest. In Iraq, officials say an anti-government protester was been killed Tuesday by security forces and 21 others wounded amid ongoing clashes with security forces in Baghdad. Analysts say mass protests such as these and elsewhere have persisted longer and with more intensity than at any time in recent history. VOA’s Heather Murdock has this report from Beirut
Israel is set to become the first democratic country to expel a Human Rights Watch representative. Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, must leave Israel on Monday after the country's top court last week rejected the group's request to re-examine a government decision to deport him. Shakir has been accused of promoting the Palestinian-led Israel boycott movement, which he denies. He said Sunday he will remain in his position and continue documenting violations in Israel and the Palestinian territories from abroad. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
People in Israel have expressed mixed reactions to the news that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted on corruption charges. His supporters believe the charges are fabricated, and his opponents are calling for his resignation. Netanyahu is vowing to fight back, but it is not clear how long he can hold on to power after the indictment. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Gas price protests in Iran have left more than 100 people dead since last week, as Iranian leaders used force to quash unrest. Iran's economy is in desperate straits made worse by intense U.S. sanctions. Analysts say the crackdown shows Iran's religious leaders are more afraid of popular unrest than at any other time in recent years. But they say a regime change is unlikely. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Violence in Israeli Arab communities is growing. Seventy-nine people have been murdered so far this year. In some areas, parents are afraid to let their children out of their homes at night. Linda Gradstein reports for VOA from Jerusalem
Iranians have not had internet access for days. It is a government shutdown prompted by violent protests over rising gas prices. Observers say that in a country where shutdowns and blockages have happened in the past, this one appears to be the most widespread. Michelle Quinn takes a look at how the Iranian government has been able to turn off internet access.
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